Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave (2005)

4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Slightly better than the previous entry

Still not up to the fun of the first films

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Return of the Living Dead:  Rave to the Grave

Studio:  Denholm Trading Inc.

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  May 16, 2005 (Cannes Film Festival)/October 15, 2005 (TV Premiere)

MPAA Rating:  R


Tar Man’s back!

Charles Garrison (Peter Coyote) is secretly trying to sell his stash of Trioxin to the Russians when he is accidentally killed.  When his nephew Julian (John Keefe) discovers the Trioxin, he and his friends try to determine what the gas is.  Unfortunately, when one of his friends turns it into a potent drug called Z, a planned Halloween rave is about to get much more horrific than planned.

Directed by William Butler and Aaron Strongoni, Return of the Living Dead:  Rave to the Grave was originally titled Return of the Living Dead 5:  Rave to the Grave.  Both Return of the Living Dead:  Rave to the Grave and the previous film Return of the Living Dead:  Necropolis were shot and released at the same time.


Worst college drum circle ever!

Return of the Living Dead:  Necropolis was a pretty weak entry in the series.  This movie had a return of many of the character and is a direct continuation of the plot…sort of.  With two movies shot together, you expect a bit more linking between the two…with these two films, you get none.

The story is marginally better than the first film in this “series”.  The ideas of the film fit more with the themes of the original films with crazed zombies, fun parties, and cool deaths (and the bumbling Russians pale in comparison to Frank and Ernie of the first film.  It is a bit more humorous…plus, you get a return of the Tar Man…though he still isn’t as cool as that first one.


Kill the zombies, kill the zombies, kill the zombies!!!

The weirdest thing about this movie is that the actors involved carried over from the last film, but make no reference to the last film.  In the previous film, Julian’s parents were turned into zombies by his uncle and those zombies killed his brother and their friends…but he appears a bit sad that his uncle died.  Granted he didn’t have any interactions between the gas, but he doesn’t seem to recognize the symptoms of zombies (he does however talk about getting evidence for the government)…It doesn’t make much sense.


Even a zombie needs to rave

The visuals in the zombie movie however are generally what sells a zombie movie and Return of the Living Dead continues to succeed.  The zombies are quite cool and the blood and guts do work with the story…but it is possibly one of the lamest raves I’ve seen.  I would have liked to have seen more raving and less lead up.

Return of the Living Dead:  Rave to the Grave isn’t a very good film, but for zombie fans it will probably suffice.  With the return of zombies to being “scary”, it might be hard for some viewers to see the humor of the Return of the Living Dead series.  I wish the Living Dead would rise again, but there are no signs of life as of yet.

Related Links:

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988)

Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993)

Return of the Living Dead:  Necropolis (2005)


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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